Connecting Bristol

Creative. Smart. Green. Connected.

We worked with Bristol City Council on the creation of a new website for Connecting Bristol.

Connecting Bristol

Creating a smarter digital future for Bristol.

Bristol City Council

What is Connecting Bristol?

Connecting Bristol is the City’s digital partnership and is coordinated by the Bristol City Council’s City Innovation Team.  The team strives to pilot the potential of the latest smart technologies to ensure that Bristol becomes a resilient, sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and livable place. Their work is delivered in partnership with other public sector agencies, the private sector and the community and their representatives.

The recent launch of the Data Dome is a perfect example of the kinds of exciting digital projects the team and their partners are involved with, and the Connecting Bristol site and brand is one way for them to connect this exciting work with the wider Bristol community.

The Brief:

Connecting Bristol and the City Innovation Team are committed to improving digital inclusion and improving the city’s digital infrastructure. However the existing website had been created several years ago and with the rapid increase in mobile web browsing the site was no longer fit for purpose.

To this end the brief was simple; create a website that made it is easy for visitors to find relevant content, through a range of devices.

Key considerations:

  • Content managed website for use by a large team and contributors.
  • Responsive design to work across mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop.
  • Make better use of multimedia content including data mapping.
  • A navigation that makes it easy for users to find the content they want.

Helping users find relevant content:

The most important thing on any website is the content, especially for a knowledge sharing blog like Connecting Bristol. The Innovation Team are always creating really interesting relevant content to share, but there is always a risk that this great content gets lost, which was happening on the old site. Here are some of the things we’ve done to combat this:

  • The new site structure has meant that the number of blog categories was reduced from seven to four.
  • We’ve made use of a fresh colour palette to to distinguish the different categories titles and blogs.
  • We introduced a secondary level navigation to enable visitors to search for blogs relating to type of content (video, audio, event and data).
  • Simple icons help users identify the different blog types when browsing the site.
  • A new powerful search feature that enables a  user to search for content they are interested in via key words, blog content, assigned tags and also allows deeper searching via category and blog type filters.


Using the design to encourage visitors to explore and consume:

In today’s world there are so many options for how and where we get our information. The risk to any website is that a viewer is only ever a few clicks or a ‘google’ away from another source of entertainment. We wanted to create a site that would grab a visitors attention and hold it:

  • Visual style that encourages browsing through stronger focus on imagery
  • Strict use of category titles to remove perceived duplication from the site
  • Clean, clear visual style removing any unnecessary distractions on a blog page so users can focus on the content.
  • Linking to other relevant posts, and ability to view more by author.

Encouraging users to share

It’s always said that the best promotion is word of mouth, the old site did little to encourage users to share interesting articles with the outside world. We’ve tried to change this:

  • Built in social sharing that pre-populates blog title and URL
  • Call to actions that stay with a user as they scroll down the page.
  • Removed other ‘noise’ on the page that can easily distract readers.

Connecting Bristol